Rohaan - An Interview with Unchained Recordings' first Mancunian
With his debut release on Unchained Recordings, The Lost Sirens EP, only days away, Rohaan caught up with label boss Lyndon Jarr, to briefly discuss his own aspirations, creativity, Djing and views on electronic music.
As some background, Rohaan is about as diverse as they come in Bass music. Having had his music signed and pushed out by a wide range of labels, including Deadbeats, Circus and Saturate to name a few, we now see him ascend the ranks of modern Halftime and Drum’n’Bass. His collabs with industry titans such as Holly, Duke & Jones and Laxcity, are a testament to the quality of his output.
When we first met him it was a truly genuine and refreshing experience. Whilst we all admire energy, talent and creativity in people, rarely does it dawn on you in the first few moments of meeting someone that it’s all there in front of you – accompanied by a humble personality to boot.
Lyndon Jarr: How did you discover Unchained and what was it that drew you to the label?
Rohaan: Firstly, I just want to say I’m stoked to be a part of this Unchained journey and big up for having me. I actually discovered you guys though HØST! I saw he did a mix + EP for you guys and loved the music you were putting out as a whole.
Lyndon Jarr: You recently played an incredibly sick set after Arkaik at the Unchained label showcase in London. Do you usually play out dirty DNB sets or does your style vary depending on the circumstances?
Rohaan: Yea bloody hell what a show that was!! So my sets actually vary a huge amount depending on the crowd/venue/night I’m playing. This one was in a cage so I felt going down a more immersive techy DnB set with huge 2 minute builds and high energy drums was the way to go. I strive to create more of a journey with highs and lows in my sets than just banger after banger.
Lyndon Jarr: Well yeh we sorta thought you needed to be caged when Djing, no offence but we had to consider the safety of our patrons. Moving on, the substance of your music seems to have helped you carve quite a name for yourself in the US, Canada and the UK. How do these different universes differ in terms of audience and musical style from your experiences?
Rohaan: Damn its worlds apart. So I made my name over in the States before I did here in the UK. Which is ironic as I live in the UK. When I was doing more Trap influenced music that was pretty much 100% being released in the States. But now I’ve turned in a new direction towards something that is more true to me, Drum & Bass. This has so far been working wonders for me.
Lyndon Jarr: Do you see these seemingly disparate universes crossing over or coming together in terms of bass music?
Rohaan: Yea for sure! It’s been great to see more UK DnB/Halftime artists going out to the States/Canada to play some big damn shows!! So in terms of crossing over I think it’s great!
Lyndon Jarr: I’ve heard you mention the term ‘branding’ in previous interviews. Have you ever witnessed friends who are producers who lose themselves to branding over creativity? Do you have any personal stories yourself?
Rohaan: Oh yeah absolutely!!! And I myself have fallen victim to that in the past. It’s important to see the benefit of having a strong visual brand BUT your sound must always take priority. I studied music business so i’ve always had a business/branding head on when it comes to music. But I feel having that balance especially in this digital age is key.
Lyndon Jarr: In terms of your forthcoming release with Unchained, can you tell us a little bit about the tracks and the creative journey to arrive where you ended up?
Rohaan: Oh damn we have such an array of styles! They were never intended to be an EP so the journey throughout the EP is varied. You can hear my style change from 160 Trap to DnB to Halftime. I just make what im feeling on a day and just ride with it.
I’m usually inspired by colours, having my mood light a certain colour throughout the whole song writing process helps a ton! For this EP Gums is Green, Darlin is Purple and Sirens is Blue. Just seems to work for me! Also you can start to hear my new sound coming through in this EP which i’m super stoked to show the world!